Fresh Air

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This one-hour program features Terry Gross' in-depth interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures, as well as distinguished experts on current affairs and news.
Updated: 12 min 29 sec ago

Dead-Cinch Thrillers: 4 Books To Get Your Heart Pounding

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 12:00pm

Summer and suspense fiction go together like the Fourth of July and firecrackers. Book critic Maureen Corrigan recommends four books that are deadly accurate in their aim to entertain.

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Fresh Air Weekend: 'Loving Day'; Cable's Faux Newsmen; 'Dope' Director

Sat, 07/04/2015 - 8:03am

Mat Johnson discusses his book Loving Day. David Bianculli says cable comics keep news-makers honest. Rick Famuyiwa calls Dope a celebration of kids whose interests don't fit into pop-culture norms.

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It's All In Your Head: Director Pete Docter Gets Emotional In 'Inside Out'

Fri, 07/03/2015 - 12:15pm

The new film illustrates the inner workings of an 11-year-old's mind. Her emotions — Sadness, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Joy — are the stars. Originally broadcast June 10, 2015.

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Pokey LaFarge Mines His Midwestern Roots, Finds 'Something In The Water'

Fri, 07/03/2015 - 12:15pm

The singer-songwriter brings his acoustic guitar to the Fresh Air studio to sing some new songs as well as some of his favorites from the 1920s and '30s. Originally broadcast April 27, 2014.

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Not All Sequels Are Equal: Following Up To 'Terminator', 'Magic Mike'

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 12:47pm

Film critic David Edelstein calls Terminator Genesys "strenuously witless" and "lousy." But, he adds, the loose and fun Magic Mike XXL is "anything but a typical machine-tooled sequel."

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Was The Most Current Supreme Court Session 'A Liberal Term For The Ages'?

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 12:47pm

Adam Liptak of The New York Times discusses the court's most recent session and says the rulings reveal deep philosophical differences regarding the role of judges and the Constitution.

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From SCOTUS To The Confederate Flag, Cable Comedians Keep Tabs On The News

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 12:18pm

Critic David Bianculli says the commentary, questioning and ridicule of Jon Stewart, Larry Wilmore, John Oliver and Bill Maher help keep news outlets — and newsmakers — honest.

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'Dope' Director On Geekdom, The N-Word And Confronting Racism With Comedy

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 12:18pm

Rick Famuyiwa's new film is about a black high-school student who's into 90s hip hop and Japanese comic books. He calls Dope a celebration of kids whose interests don't fit into pop-culture norms.

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Jerry Douglas' Tribute To Bluegrass Legends Lester Flatt And Earl Scruggs

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 12:33pm

Jerry Douglas, considered by many to be the best dobro player in the world, brings his instrument to the studio and talks about his new album, The Earls of Leceister, a tribute to Flatt and Scruggs.

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How A Stolen Backpack In Casablanca Inspired A Novel About Shifting Idenity

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 12:33pm

The main character in Vendela Vida's new novel is alone in Morocco when her bag with her passport and credit cards is stolen. Vida says The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty was inspired by her own travels.

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'BrotherLee Love' Offers A Fearless, Fresh Tribute To Trumpeter Lee Morgan

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 12:31pm

Terell Stafford and his quintet bring a warm and hefty tone to a tribute album honoring the late Philadelphia horn player Lee Morgan. Kevin Whitehead says the new album is risky — but successful.

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Mat Johnson On 'Loving Day' And Life As A 'Black Boy' Who Looks White

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 12:31pm

As a biracial child growing up in Philadelphia, writer Mat Johnson identified as black – but looked white. His new novel is about a man who returns to his hometown after inheriting a run-down mansion.

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Fresh Air Weekend: Marc Maron On Obama; NYC's Public Library; Art Forgery

Sat, 06/27/2015 - 8:03am

Comedian Marc Maron tells Terry Gross about his recent visit with the president. Maureen Corrigan reviews Patience and Fortitude. Noah Charney traces artistic forgeries back to the Renaissance.

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'Fresh Air' Remembers Johnny Gimble, The 'King Of The Swing Fiddle'

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 12:16pm

Gimble, who died Saturday at the age of 88, spent years playing fiddle with the Texas Playboys. He was regarded by critics as one of the best to ever pick up a bow. Originally broadcast April 9, 2010.

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How Scientists Created A Typhus Vaccine In A 'Fantastic Laboratory'

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 12:16pm

Writer Arthur Allen describes how a WWII scientist in Poland smuggled the typhus vaccine to Jews — while his team made a weakened version for the Nazis. Originally broadcast July 22, 2014.

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Leon Bridges Offers Retro R&B With A Twist In 'Coming Home'

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 2:15pm

The Texas-raised singer connects to R&B music from the past — and challenges himself to give it an updated sound — in his new album. Critic Ken Tucker says Bridges' album packs an emotional punch.

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How A Historical Blunder Helped Create The Water Crisis In The West

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 2:06pm

In 1922, seven states drew up a plan for dividing the waters of the Colorado River. But they overestimated how much water the river could provide — and now 40 million Americans face a water crisis.

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'Project Fatherhood' Teaches Parenting Skills To Inner-City Dads

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 1:05pm

Mike Cummings and Jorja Leap are working with men in Los Angeles — many of whom are former gang members — to help them find something that was missing from their lives as they grew up: fatherhood.

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'Patience And Fortitude' And The Fight To Save NYC's Storied Public Library

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 1:05pm

In his new book, Scott Sherman describes how bottom-line business logic nearly gutted New York's preeminent public library. Maureen Corrigan calls it a "slim, smart book" full of colorful characters.

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Algerian Writer Kamel Daoud Stands Camus' 'The Stranger' On Its Head

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 12:45pm

His first novel, The Meursault Investigation, Kamel Daoud retells The Stranger from an Arab perspective. John Powers says that Daoud's retelling will forever change the way you read the Camus classic.

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